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Bad Karma

 I have been thinking about how to capture current craziness that is unbearable, way up from the usual level of having been insufferable for the last five years.  The problem with intelligent people, a saying goes, is that they think people think.  This is demonstrably false for at least one half of the global population, venting their grievances, tribalism and anger in real blood baths or on virtual monsters called Facebook and many other names. Other media platforms, such as Fox Lies & Entertainment and the Russian TV 1 News are dedicated to the repetitive stoking of anger and hatred by all means possible. The incurious and lazy, make it 50 milion Americans and Russians - each - find comfort in this onslaught of familiar propaganda that reminds them of church sermons, drug highs and drunken stupor. In this atmosphere of sweeping hatred and ignorance, the crazed, slighted vor (the Russian slang for a mafia thief), murderer and war criminal, President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,
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Hope Dies Last

I hope that the face of this boy being arrested in Moscow for demonstrating against the regime is the symbol of the future Russia. Getting detained at the ripe age of 10 or 11 must have been a defining moment in the life of this young man. To me, it does not look like he was soaking in the constant barrage of propaganda that became much worse by January 2022.  Most internet links between Russia and the world are now severed, and over 80% of all Russians get their daily propaganda poison pills from state TV.  No independent media outlets are left in this Soviet Union 2.0 Putin is erecting. Narodonst ' (the little people or "Prols" in the "1984" nomenclature.) must now march in lockstep, as they have had to for the last eight centuries, starting from the Mongols, and with a short, unhappy pause in the 1990s. Let me then take you back to the old Soviet Union 1.0 and its vassal state, the communist Poland that controlled most of my life prior to 1981.  Here are the

Ascent of the Angry and Stupid

Scientifically speaking,  stupid  people harm themselves while also harming others. In addition, stupid people are irrational and erratic, and are very dangerous to others. After discussing the destructive role of the stupid in any society whatsoever, I will focus on the delicate interplay of actions of intelligent and helpless people, who in balance make or break a functioning democracy.  Unless things change fast in the US, we can kiss our democracy goodbye for decades. If you want to see how a virulent ascent of the stupid looks up close, and what implications it has for our fight against social injustice and climate change, please watch the brilliant " Don't Look Up " movie. Unvaccinated people demonstrating in Los Angeles. There are tens of millions of the raving mad and/or angry, stupid people in the US and other developed countries. Source: New York Times , 12/25/2021. I overlapped at UC Berkeley with Professor Carlo M. Cipolla for a decade, until his death in t

Multiple Fallacies of the Simon-Ehrlich Wager

 Five years ago, I described this very famous 1980 wager  here . Wikipedia has a good, understated description  of the wager.   Ehrlich-Simon wager according to the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan V. Last , August 30, 2013, more less he sam time I started analyzing this wager. The fact that Ehrlich "lost" according to the omnipotent neoliberal economists was used broadly as a vindication of the power of economics in predicting what would happen in the physical world.  But were the economists mostly spouting nonsense, as is their long-standing tradition? Natural copper.  Copper is one of the most important metals in the global economy that gravitates towards the "low carbon solutions" (whatever this term may mean to you). Source: Wikipedia. In short, Simon challenged Ehrlich to choose any raw material he wanted and a date more than a year away, and he would wager on the inflation-adjusted prices decreasing as opposed to increasing. Ehrlich chose copper (Cu), chromium,